Saturday, January 4, 2014

How to Torture Your Teen, Totes Magotes

A word to the wise ... if you want to lose all cred with your teenager, try speaking to them with the latest and greatest adolescent slang. Talk about an eye-roll-apalooza!

If you want to really torture them, continue to do so.

I've been in marketing for ... oh ... "a lot" of years. (Nearly 30 at last count — holy senior citizen, Batman!) One of the most important things I've taught my various copywriters to focus on is speaking the target audience's (the customer's) language. Do this well and they'll buy your product, use your service, follow you anywhere. Do it not-so-well and the jig is up.

In fact, if you try and fail, you are worse off than if you never tried at all. People have built-in bullsh*t meters. They know when you're just an ad agency making a lame attempt to sound like an engineer or a teacher or a housewife.

And, guess who has the finest tuned bullsh*t meters of all? Teens!

That's why I have to assume that the target audience for a brilliant Sprint ad isn't really teenagers; it's their parents. You've probably seen it. James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell, two theatrical heavyweights, decked in tuxedos and serious as hell, recite "Lizzy and Kim's" call. 

ANNCR: Sprint honors Lizzy and Kim's call on our new network.

JEJ: Ryan is a total Hottie McHotterson.

MM: Obvi. He's amazeballs. He's like the hottest hottie that ever hottied.

JEJ: He's like a hottie times infinity plus another infinity. And his smile is totes adorbs.

MM: Totes Magotes. It's cray-cray adorbs.

JEJ: Totes Magotes.

ANNCR: In honor of the important things you do, save up to $100 on any new phone when you switch to Sprint.

Okay, there's an ad I wish I'd written. Or directed. Or served coffee at the craft services table between takes. I think the dialogue is hysterical.

My daughter? Not so much.

There isn't a single line, a single phrase, a single hottie, adorbs or totes (much less, magotes) in that script that would ever come out of my daughter's mouth. Or her friends'. Or their friends'.

In Sprint's defense, they didn't actually coin these colloquialisms. "Totes Magotes" (alternately spelled "Totes McGotes") came from the 2009 Paul Rudd movie I Love You, Man

Wait a minute ... 2009? That's like totes forever ago! Like forever times infinity plus infinity plus one! Totes! No wonder my daughter has moved on.

In this case, and much to the teens' collective chagrin, the ad and all its vocabulary vagaries have taken on a life of their own. Never was a concept so ripe for memes. Like this one, my personal (totes magotes) fave:



Next time you want to bug your teenager, wait until you're in some public place, preferably populated by other teenage types, and tell them that they're just "adorbs" and you really really love them ... "totes magotes."

If you enjoyed this post, order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at www.lovinthealien.com.

3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. TESTIMONY TESTIMONY TESTIMONY Hello friends!!! My name is Jeff Chandler. I want to testify of the good Loan Lender who showed light to me after been scammed by 3 different Internet international lender, they all promise to give me a loan after making me pay a lot of fees which yield nothing and amounted to no positive result. I lost my hard earn money and it was a total of $1,000.00. One day I was browsing through the internet looking frustrated when I came across a testimony of a woman who was also scammed and eventually got linked to a legit loan company called mr peter Loan Company and where she finally got her loan, so I decided to contact the same loan company and then told them my story on how I have been scammed by 3 different lenders who did nothing but to cause me more pain. I explain to the company by whattsApp (+2349063879939) you can also Email the company on their Email Address on (peterloanfirmcompany112@gmail.com (mailto:peterloanfirmcompany112@gmail.com)) and all they told me was to cry no more because I will get my loan in their company and also I have made the right choice of contacting them. I filled the loan application form and proceeded with all that was requested of me and to my greatest astonishment I was given a loan amount of $580,000.00 US Dollars at a very low interest rate of 4% by this great Company. if there is anyone who is also in need of an urgent loan should kindly whattsapp this great loan company offers on (+2349063879939) or kindly email them. (peterloanfirmcompany112@gmail.com (mailto:peterloanfirmcompany112@gmail.com)) managed by mr peter loan a God fearing man and here I am today happy because this company has given me a loan so I made a vow to my self that I will keep testifying on the internet on how I got my loan. Do you need a loan urgently? kindly and quickly contact This great company now for your loan via whattsApp +2349063879939. or Email (peterloanfirmcompany112@gmail.com (mailto:peterloanfirmcompany112@gmail.com)) and share your own testimony thanks. Peter loan company offers is a great company and they are the only loan lender who can offers you loan without collateral others are fraud. Mr peter is a very good and kind man he is a God fearing man And i believe God has sent him to come and help us so any one who is really in need of an urgent loan should contact him own and get your instant loan thanks once again. contact him on (+2349063879939). OR Email him on (peterloanfirmcompany112@gmail.com (mailto:peterloanfirmcompany112@gmail.com)) and celebrate by sharing your own great testimony too do not lose this great opportunity thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You guys have surpassed my expectations! James is seriously amazing and is doing everything to help my Fiancé and me, in1weeks my credit score went up 700 points and I can only imagine what is to come. Thank you for the excellent customer service and doing exactly what you all have set out to do! NO GIMMICKS OR BS with you guys.They carry out any kind of hacks You can reachout to them via Hackintechnology@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete